Salary increases, connection bonuses and flexible hours – Bucks County businesses are going the extra mile to attract qualified candidates in an increasingly competitive hiring market.
Jennifer Schultz, founder of Recruitment Queen, a digital job board based in Bucks County, said it is currently a “market for job seekers,” as employers suggest additional incentives to attract more applicants.
“People look for employers who have a good pay scale, who have checked their competition to find out that they offer something a job seeker would consider fair and offer good training,” Schultz said.
Schultz also said many are still concerned about COVID and need reassurance that potential employers will put their health and well-being first. “Employers, including their COVID-19 security plan, are key to getting more applicants to apply, so that the applicant feels they are going in a safe environment. “
According to an employment report released by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry last month, the number of jobs increased by 144,000 between November 2020 and 2021. As of November 2021, Pennsylvania had 5,781,800 non-farm jobs in total, while unemployment has fallen by 87,000 over the past year.
Although the total number of jobs remains below the figures before the pandemic of February 2020, historic labor shortages across the United States have plagued employers looking to fill the vacancies – as workers continue to be cautious in the face of the pandemic, struggle to change childcare options, consider early retirement, or are simply looking for better circumstances than their previous jobs had to offer.
In response, employers hope to retain their employees and recruit new talent by increasing wages, offering sign-up bonuses, and providing flexibility through remote working.
Penn Community Bank this month announced an increase in its base rate of pay to $ 17 an hour.
Georgann Berger McKenna, director of human resources at Penn Community, said the change had already sparked more applications for the 20 open positions they were seeking to fill.
“We anticipate that the job market can change on the fly, so we are always aware that it is a possibility for sure and that COVID is making it even more difficult,” McKenna said.
Currently, many of their employees are working remotely, and McKenna hopes to continue to reap this benefit beyond the pandemic, anticipating that this will reduce revenue while broadening their scope of applicants to those beyond. of their main market.
“Now that we know that we can (offer the option to work from home) there is no going back at this point and I think it has helped us retain more people because it gives them more flexibility and reduced costs for us and for them. So it’s a win-win situation, ”she said.
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Login bonuses are another perk that appears more often on job boards as employers seek to gain more attention from potential candidates.
US Foods, with a location in Perkasie, is offering a connection bonus of $ 15,000 to experienced CDL-A drivers. First Student is another, offering $ 3,000 to new part-time New Hope-area school bus drivers who apply by Jan. 31.
Ann’s Choice, a continuing care retirement community in Warminster run by Erickson Senior Living, offers enrollment bonuses of up to $ 3,500 depending on position, as well as referral bonuses. Vacancies currently include nurses, certified medical assistants, line cooks, prep cooks, waiters, and housekeeping workers.
“By streamlining our hiring process, we have been successful in filling positions, particularly in our food service department,” said Jeannette Collins, director of human resources at Ann’s Choice. “The approach has been a combination of traditional tactics, online recruiting, increased incentives and leveraging our reputation as the employer of choice in the region.
On-site career fairs, online recruiting events, social media campaigns and partnerships with the university community have also proven to be successful.
“Developing and nurturing relationships with local partners has also been a key recruiting tactic,” Collins said. “We have partnered with local high schools to attract student servers and promote our student scholarship program and we have connected with colleges and trade schools to advertise through their career offices and sites. ‘use. These relationships are very important.
This article originally appeared in the Bucks County Courier Times: Bucks County businesses raise wages, offer bonuses for labor shortages